It's been a while since I've blogged for Compassion. It's also been a while since I volunteered for one of their events (both things I am going to have to change this year). But I had an experience this week that I want to share with you.
There are a lot of child-sponsorship organizations out there, but I've gone through Compassion International for over ten years now for a reason: they care about people. They care about the children and families they minister to, certainly, but they also care about their sponsors and partners.
I could tell you about how more than 80% goes directly to the sponsored communities or how they consistently receive the highest ratings from independent charity investigators, but I'm not going to. I have three personal incidences that I want to share with you that emphasize what I passionately support Compassion.
Several years ago, I was between jobs and, due to an error (on my part) saving my debit card on the website, I fell many months behind. Like, hundreds of dollars behind. Thanks to automatic withdrawals, I didn't pay attention to the envelopes coming in. I had no clue until they called asking about it. Making only $50 a week, there was no way I'd be able to pay that back. I was near tears and in shock, and didn't want to have to give up my sponsored child (although I knew they would cover that child's sponsorship until a new sponsor could be found). But then the operator said something amazing. Compassion was going to wipe my debt and give me a fresh start. That started the tears, for sure. The man on the phone was so kind, even though I'm sure he was following a script. I fully believed in that moment that he and Compassion knew life happens and truly forgave the debt. If any organization practices what they preach, it's Compassion.
2. Accountability and Integrity
A few months back I received a letter from Compassion that the community center my child was a part of was being less than honest. They didn't tell the details, just that their standards for distribution and honor were not being followed. They were working with the community leaders and had given them 60 days to show improvement or Compassion would have to pull their support from the area. I received three more letters on the subject, keeping me informed along the way. Fortunately, everything was resolved and support continues in this area of the world.
One of the things I love about Compassion is that they work with local centers that are already making a difference in their communities. They don't come in as the "American Savior", but partner with the local church to empower communities. This incident helped confirm for me that Compassion is serious about how the money they collect is used. More importantly, they give chances. They extend forgiveness. While mistakes were made by leaders in the community, Compassion didn't immediately abandon ship. They worked with the local leaders to resolve the issues for the sake of those in need, and kept the sponsors informed of everything happening.
3. Birthday Wishes
My birthday was this week. I got a call a few days ago that I ignored because I didn't recognize the number. When I finally listened to the message, I found it was someone from the Compassion Advocate Program wishing me a Happy Birthday! I joined the Advocate Program about a year ago, and regrettably haven't done as much as I would've liked for them over the past year. But Compassion cares about people, so I got a personal phone call for my birthday. Does your child sponsorship program do that?
I adore everything that Compassion does for children and families struggling in the world. I passionately support their ministry and will continue to sponsor children through them for as long as I am able. If you would like to support a child through Compassion, click here.